Iron Duke | Wellington County Brewery

BA SCORE
87
very good
84 Ratings
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Iron DukeIron Duke
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Wellington County Brewery
Ontario, Canada
wellingtonbrewery.ca

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally a seasonal brew, Iron Duke is Wellington’s winter warmer with the character of barley wine. An excellent dessert beer.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
84
Reviews:
70
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
8.63%
 
 
Wants:
12
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 |  Reviews: 70
Photo of stoutman
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honey and peanuty aromas. Brown in color with a diminishing tan head. Quite sweet in the nose with some added floral nose that adds to the sweetness. Mild fruits and nuts mix about when swilling. Very simple. Very drinkable. Quite tasty with a mild alcohol finish.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, amber brown colour beneath a two finger, white cloud head. Lace sticks to the glass like a bride's garter. Fresh fruit smell. Raisins, plums, dates, cherries, figs and prunes twirls around with the malt. It's safe to assume no hops were used in the making of this beer. Tastes like it smells, with a bit more freshness. Kind of softer, more chewy mouthfeel. I'll buy it again, and again, and again, but I won't have alot in one sitting.

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Photo of cratez
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle from a 6 pack purchased at The Beer Store.

A: dark ruby brown with one finger of frothy, cream coloured head. Gobs of lacing decorate the pint glass.
S: light nuttiness, raisins, sherry, a bit floral, some metal, brown sugar, and vinous, port like aromas.
T: dried fruits, toffee, roasted and chocolate malts, red grapes, caramel bitterness, parched cocoa finish with a warming, alcoholic edge.
M: silky, fullish medium, high carbonation for the style, lasting bittersweet dryness.
D: a dangerously quaffable, malt-forward English strong ale. Marvelous.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

350 mL bottle served chilled in a water goblet-esque glass. Something with a widish brim.

Appearance: Hazy reddish brown topped by a smallish offwhite head. Head dissipates to a film rather abruptly and left little lacing. The temp or soapy residue on the glass may be to blame for this, though.

Smell: Strong aromas of roasted malts and prunes. Very reminiscent of a Scotch Ale or a Wee Heavy. Precious little hopping. I was expecting something more hoppy, but that's probably due to all my previous exposures to the style being American interpretations. Still, it's not an overly complex smell.

Taste: Dark fruits like raisins and prunes with a undergirding of roasted caramel malts. Same comment about hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and robustly bodied. Alcohol very well masked.

Drinkability: Pretty decently drinkable. Had I had this blind, I would've thought it was a Scottish Ale or a Wee Heavy. Something for the Yanks to remember when trying this. Still, a darn fine beer. That it's, as one other reviewer notes, their flagship beer says volumes about the brewery,

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Photo of funkengruven
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a dark brown with a thin head, leaving some lacing behind

Smells pretty nice, a bit like dried fruit and prunes.

Taste is exactly what an English Ale should taste like. Malty with a slightly bitter finish.

Smooth as silk, This is one beer you can't go wrong with. But you have to be careful, you could pound a bucket of these back and not even realize it.

Great stuff.

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Photo of fisherman34
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with a small but a lasting head. Nice malty brown bread aromas. The flavors are mainly caramel and bready malts, along with a subtle fruity note. Medium bodied, whcih is surprising considering the aroma and flavor profile (expected heavier). A touch of alcohol on the finish. Not the most complicated or subtle beer out there, but a solid performer indeed.

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Photo of trevorwideman
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Woolwich Arms and Arrow in Guelph...

Poured into a pint glass. Lovely dark colour, not quite opaque, shades of purple and ruby, slightly cola like. Not much of a head results, but a ring persists with a bit of lacing to the bottom of the glass. Smell is hearty with a generous roasted malt character. Toffee and caramel notes, some coffee and an underpinning of hops. Not too sweet, which is something I tend to worry about.

Taste packs a real punch. Nutty malts give way to a not overbearing caramel sweetness, great espresso type roasted character. Light hoppiness is definitely overshadowed by the intense and punchy malt characteristics of this brew. Nonetheless adds a refreshing character to something I'd normally consider an Autumn/Winter brew. Hearty body and soft mouthfeel make this brew slide down very easily and due to its exceptional flavour would make a great session brew. I'm proud to have been born in Wellington County if this is the kind of brew coming from my old stomping grounds. Cheers!

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Photo of sponberg
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep garnet red with an offwhite head that thins out quickly, but is persistent - sounds like the hair atop my head, but I digress.A malty,malty nose - sweet, caramelly, prunelike.

FRUIT!! The Duke whaps you upside the head with a vast, fruity maltiness - prunes, fig, apple - tinged with a toffee-caramel sweetness that's extremely round, but not at all cloying. As the sip goes down it dries out a bit, bringing Belgian chocolate and earthy notes along with an apple-skin flavor way in the background. The underlying bitterness is just enough to tie this whole thing together. A chewy, but very slightly thin for the flavors involved, mouthfeel fits this beer well, and makes it very drinkable. Yet another dark strong ale that I could sit by the fire and sip all night long.

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Photo of baiser
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 22 oz bomber. Poured a rich mahogany brown with red highlights, a large creamy tan head. A nice think layer of foam sat atop for the entire time.

Aroma of sweet sweet candy, some nuttiness in the nose. A little floral too.

Taste was delicious. Roasty, some floral hops, bitter hops up front. Some plum, molasses and a sweet alcohol warmth at the end of each sip. From time to time, you get some brandy flavour. Mouthfeel is smooth and bodied. A bit oily. This is one balanced beer.

IMO the second best Wellington has to offer (behind the imperial stout). It's a great beer from my favourite Ontario microbrewery.

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Photo of bryehn
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nut brown-ruby colour with a frothy tan head that didn't last long or lace, but did get retained as a collar.

The aroma of Iron Duke (there's a poop joke in there I'm sure) is one that I find rich and complex. Its nutty, sweet and malty, with strong dark fruit tones and a hint of spice.

The taste is very similar, it's got a sweet and nutty flavour and the dark fruit aroma characterizes itself as cherry to me. I get a roasted chocolate or coffee-like bitterness that balances things out on the back end.

Considering its rich characteristics and ABV, I find this beer goes down easily. I do think its a bit thin, but it does have a weighty creaminess and medium carbonation.

I've tried five beers from Wellington and this is without a doubt my favourite. Almost perfect as a Winter beer, but drinkable enough that I'd try it in the warmer months too.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep mohagany pour. Lively tan head. The nose is highlighted by sticky sweet molasses and toffee. Tastes starts off with some nice malt sweetness. Again, some molasses & black licorice and some hops come through mid sip. Dry-ish finish. Lingering malts and toffee. Some alcohol warmth. Fairly lively mouthfeel. Nice fuzziness to it. Decent drinkability but geared more for a sipping beer, or cool weather companion. Alot of great things about this beer but nothing that wowed me.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a half finger poorly retained head leaving almost no collar, minimal patchy lacing, dark brown in color with ruby highlights

Scent is caramel toffee, dark fruit, sweet dark bread

Taste follows the nose with a faint dark chocolate note and some earthy hops

Very smooth and refreshing for the style, there is little carbonation with a light medium body, mild bitterness in the finish. Has a watery quality to it when swirled in the glass which does not generate any suds whatsoever. Almost seems like a session brew

A decent brew that with a more experienced palate is not as big as I remember it but still holds up well.

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Photo of Cwrw
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Ontario and only available to me here through the CANBIF method, courtesy of the42ndtourist. First: the labelling. I love the antique appearance of the label, showing Wellington, the "Iron Duke" in his military outfit. The cap, too, shows a black and white picture of the mighty Duke. Attractive bottle. I have wanted to try this beer for a while now. The fluffy light brown head formed slowly and creamily as I poured to the glass. The beer is mollasses brown and very thick looking. The colouration changes with the light and at times I could see hints of ruby, light purple, hickory, and rosewood. The mocha-brown head went down quickly to a thin covering, but I blame that on my glass being a little wet from rinsing it(I was too thirsty to wait for it to air-dry.) The sheets of lacing moved quickly, and the head was darker around the edges. A very attractive strong ale to be sure. The aroma will delight Imperial Stout lovers: the black licorice notes are enormous, with dusty black currant, mollasses, horehound, dark chocolate with raisins, and milky malts. The aroma is spicy from above the glass, and in close the sweet richness of the malts adds an almost red-grape nuance. The malts are very roasty in character, adding a salinity akin to smoked meats. The hops lurk in the back, and this is all unctuous maltiness. Fantastic smelling beer. Rich and meaty. At first I sense quite a bit of salt in the taste, more in the middle, adding to the roasty malts and making me want to take another sip. Definite black licorice in the taste too, with thick caramel and dark chocolate. The malts are very smooth, almost as though this was brewed with some oatmeal. A little burst of phenols in the middle, nothing very powerful. The taste is dusty, with a lot of raisins and spicy leathery notes. The malts leave a sweetened biscuit, cake-like flavour; very fresh and appetising. If there is any coffee taste, it is more like French Vanilla coffee, because the sweetness of the beer, at least in the middle, belies any coffee comparison. The finish is very dry, the hops definitely making their presence known, but the bitterness also comes from the roasted malts. I am left with a dry, malty, nutty feeling in the mouth. A complex flavour wheel. The beer is full-bodied, low in carbonation, and quite drinkable, though a little sweet at times. A phenomenal beer from Wellington, and I feel privileged to have had it. I would love to try this on-tap, and I will be buying some if ever I return to Ontario. Thanks Duncan!

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Photo of EatsTacos
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown into a tall pilsner glass. Creamy mocha head with not a lot of retention and a small amount of lacing.

Aroma is roasted malty, chestnuts, toasted bread, biscuits.

The taste begins with a sweet caramel malt that fades into a bready, roasted grain. Chocolate and expresso, roasted coffee beans. The hops are herbal and bitter. Very smooth and drinkable. The end is bitter and nutty. Delicious.

Medium to heavy body with a low crisp carbonation. Very smooth beer.

I've never had a beer I didn't enjoy from this brewery, and I'd love to try this one on tap or cask..

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Photo of Kremlock
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of BrewCaveDweller
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Antilochus
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 341mL bottle (in a six pack) purchased at a Kingston, Ontario Beer Store. Appearance is reddish brown opaque, descending along the glass to translucent reddish brown. The head is tan, slowly dissipating to a thin cream with lace. Aromas are roasted malts & sweetish dark fruits, with slight burnt sugar. As it warmed alcohol became noticeable, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel is immediately medium viscosity, with low carbonation. Taste was sweet and roasted/burnt overall, with smalt, cherry, prune, and a bit of spice. Alcohol not as noticeable as I expected, very enjoyable. Decent drinkability, but at 6.50% abv probably not sessionable.

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Photo of traumaqueen
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of drinkininthewood
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I like this brewery alot.

Served from a brown 341 twist off bottle into a pint glass.

A- Deep red color, small tan head diminishes quickly leaving some lace and a small layer of foam.

S- Nice malt aromas, a little roasty, slightly fruity, some toffee.

T- Very nice flavor. Roasty malts, some fruit - plums/raisins, slightly caramel with some toffee notes as well. Nice hop profile(fuggles maybe?) Fairly sweet and fruity off the start with a bitter dry finish.

M- light in body but not watery. Carbonation is light.

D- Lots of flavor, light in body, and incredibly drinkable. Alcohol hides itself pretty good which can be dangerous.

Overall i love this beer! Tones of flavor and awesome drinkability. Very enjoyable. An excellent brew from an excellent brewery>highly recommended.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On the label, Wellington calls this their flagship beer, and in a world where the vast majority of beer that is drunk is bland and uninteresting, their ability to stand up and call a beer like this their flagship instead of their more "regular" brews is admirable. That said (in a very long run-on sentence), this is truly a great beer, and I wish it was one that they distributed in cask format.

650mL Bomber. Pours out deep, deep brown, near black. A nice looking head to start, but it fades to near nothing. Flavours and aromas: nice dark fruits - raisins, plums - good helping of darker malts, long lingering finish of warming alcohol and more malts. Hops are firmly in the backseat, where they belong. Drinkable? Dear god, yes!! Iron Duke practically dives down my throat. An excellent beer, for those days when it's just not quite cold enough to justify an imperial stout (Wellington's, of course!).

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Photo of ikats
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Iron Duke pours very dark brown color with nice tan head that dissipates into a thin cover. Initial lacing is good, but slowly dissappears off the sides of the glass. Aroma is very sweet - dried fruits, prunes mainly, with some caramel. Same for the taste except with an addition of alcohol. The taste of alcohol is present, but not too strong. Mouthfeel is initially sweet, but lightens up considerably. All in all a very enjoyable, not too complex beer for a relaxing evening.

Tasted from a 12 oz bottle with no freshness date.

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Photo of tatterdash
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's a "One ale, one lager" night at my house and I have resolved to review more beers on here, so here it goes:

Pours a clear, dark copper brown into my dipple mug. The head is off white and quite tightly packed for a bottled beer, and it has quite good retention and lacing. Smell was very bold and strong in malty fruit esters, with a hint of burnt toast and smoke. Taste is equally bold and full, with a great roasted body of malt and toasty bitterness in the middle that lasts well into the finish. The mouthfeel was creamy and smooth, and the high ABV was very well hidden, just a subtle warming late in finish. This is great beer, one of Wellington's best and great value.

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Photo of vitesse
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in 12 oz. brown bottle.
found this at "the beer store" in mississauga, ON.

what a nice ESB!!!
pours a beautiful brown color with a bit of clarity. no cloudiness. nice, fine carbonation is very much along the lines of english-style strong ales and ESBs.
smells of noble hops and wonderful biscuity maltiness. some fruitness is definitely in there. very complex flavors...chocolate, port wine, fresh biscuits and tea leaves.
slightly slick mouthfeel, but still very drinkable. alcohol is well hidden. a great ale.
pick this up!

also, don't forget that it comes in completely sealed 6-pack boxes...so no lightstruck hops! go canada!

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Photo of mrnobody
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

341 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark amber with 2 fingers of beige head which recedes to a ring leaving some lacing.

S: Smells malty, fruity, spicy and slightly metallic.

T: The flavour is rich and malty but also fruity and with a nice hoppy finish.

M: Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel but not heavy. The carbonation is spot on.

D: The drinkability is very high. I'd say this is a very tasty traditional winter warmer (unspiced).

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Photo of thaichile
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark coffee brown with no head and absolutely no carbonation. Nose is roasty. Flavor is openly sweet with some kind of fruit in the deep recesses of this one. Although this was a dark brew, I didn’t get a lot of those burnt offerings but rather roasted hazelnuts. This greatly remininded me of a barleywine, with its viscosity, sweetness, and limited carbonation. This brew improved as it warmed. I thought at times it was a little thin, but overall a good one. Thanks to dherling for the bottle.

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Iron Duke from Wellington County Brewery
3.94 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
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